Accurate Basal Body Temperature Readings in 13 Easy Steps
When you first start out monitoring your Basal Body Temperature (BBT) it can be a little confusing. However, do not be concerned as it is typical for it to take a little while to get the hang of it never mind actually understanding what your temperature is telling you.
However, despite your best intentions there are a number of factors that can affect your BBT and give you either a higher or lower than normal reading. These include:
- A late night
- Broken sleep
- Alcohol the night before
- Some pain relief medications
- Illness or fever
- Time Zones
- Shift work
- Change of room temperature
13 Easy Steps
Following our advice on how to get an accurate reading will really help you to understand your cycle and identify when you are most fertile. Inevitably, normal life will sometimes get in the way and it is very difficult to prevent factors like stress or illness for example, from interfering with your recordings. However there is action you can take to improve the accuracy of your readings:
- Take your temperature immediately upon waking, before getting out of bed or doing any other activity.
- Take your reading at the same time every morning.
- Use a digital thermometer not a tympanic (ear) thermometer
- Leave your thermometer right by your bed at night, so there is no need to get up for it in the morning.
- Check your thermometer regularly for any breakages and do not forget to replace the batteries regularly. If you do need to buy another thermometer, start using this at the beginning of a new cycle. If you need to use it sooner, make a note of when you did this incase the baseline reading changes.
- Decide on how you are going to take your temperature – orally, vaginally or rectally and stick with it. Changing how you take it can affect the results.
- Do not eat or drink anything before taking your temperature.
- Try and keep your room at a constant temperature at night to avoid fluctuations in temperature due to your environment.
- Try to get at least three hours of uninterrupted sleep before taking your temperature at the normal time.
- When taking your temperature make sure you leave the thermometer in place for the required time.
- Try not to skip taking any readings, as this will not give you an accurate picture of your fertility for that cycle.
- Use a thermometer with a memory facility if you do not want to record your reading straight away. You can then fall back to sleep and record the reading when you get up to start your day.
- Make a note of any disturbances such as fever, stress, alcohol the night before, so that you can take this into account when analyzing your cycle
Taking your BBT is easy and gives you helpful information about your cycle and your fertility. Recording your BBT is very empowering and what is even better – it only takes a couple of minutes out of your day.